But he's so far away...

The latest installment of relationship advice from GT Date.

The avid online daters among you will know - with any site you use, that sometimes you find what you think is the perfect man - but he just lives lives further away than you would like.

But this doesn't actually stop some of the more 'open minded' of you to look further afield for your ideal man. There is quite a pattern - you will probably start off searching for guys in your local area, but occasionally you may be tempted to increase your range, if things are not moving fast enough for you.

So, should you do it? Long distance relationships can be hard work and there are all kinds of pitfalls and problems that can come up. They do work for some people, at least for a while, but you will need to be very honest with yourself and your partner to both consider whether it will work for you and to actually make it work.

Long distance relationships can be more intense and less casual, because you will need to invest more time, money and effort to see your partner and the time you spend apart can be a nasty low to the high of being together. That’s why they are more suitable if you have your own hobbies, interests and groups of friends so that you don’t feel lonely when you are apart.

Another thing to think about is that while local relationships normalise and become routine, long distance relationships can often maintain that level of excitement. Each time you see each other is short and intense and feels like a special holiday. But if you’re considering moving in together (probably at a considerable personal expense of moving/changing jobs, etc. for at least one of you), it’s worth giving the relationship a trial run of living together for a few months, without making a big decision. Sometimes, even after a few years of going back and forth, the seemingly endless honeymoon can suddenly finish when the mundane reality of the relationship hits.

While you are apart, it’s important to be clear on the relationship’s rules - monogamy or non-monogamy, how often you will expect to see each other, etc.. It’s very easy to start to feel like the relationship is slipping away if you don’t talk for a long time, so maintaining a good amount of contact and being reliable, honest and trustworthy with each other is the most important thing.

For most people, long distance relationships are not a welcome choice but something that has to be endured for a while, hoping things will become more local. Talk things through with your partner to see how feasible that is for you, but most importantly, think if you would be willing to move for someone as a matter of principle before deciding on whether it’s worth attempting a long distance relationship.

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